The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK

The Science Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK

Language: eng
Format: mobi
ISBN: 9781465439277
Publisher: DK Publishing
Published: 2015-02-01T14:00:00+00:00

Discovering X-rays

During his experiments, Hittorf noticed that photographic plates in the same room were becoming fogged, but he did not investigate this effect any further. Others observed similar effects, but Wilhelm Röntgen was the first to investigate their cause—finding that it was a ray that could pass right through many opaque substances. At his request, his laboratory notes were burned after his death, so we cannot be sure exactly how he discovered these “X-rays,” but he may have first observed them when he noticed that a screen near his discharge tube was glowing even though the tube was covered in black cardboard. Röntgen abandoned his original experiment and spent the next two months investigating the properties of these invisible rays, which are still called Röntgen rays in many countries. We now know that X-rays are a form of short-wavelength electromagnetic radiation. They have a wavelength ranging from 0.01–10 nanometers (billionths of a meter). In contrast, visible light falls between the range of 400–700 nanometers.


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